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Science Teacher Jobs

Science Teacher Job

Are you considering carving out a career as a secondary school science teacher?

Becoming a teacher allows you to teach the subject which you are most passionate about – science. It also allows you to engage with pupils and expand their scientific knowledge by passing your knowledge onto the next generation of young minds.

As a secondary school science teacher, you will teach chemistry, biology and physics unless you apply for a job which only teaches one of the subjects. You will teach students about the human body, the universe and many others.

A science teacher role involves supporting students in their studies, observing their work and identifying their strengthens and weaknesses, helping them to further develop and recording their progress that pupils in education make, aged between 11-18 years of age. To ensure this, you will create lessons that are in line with objectives within the national curriculum, with the aim of ensuring a healthy atmosphere of learning for all abilities.

Secondary school science teachers will need to stay on top of the latest developments and then ensure their resources are fresh and suitable for use and as well keep up to date with any new teaching methods and national objectives. If there are any new teaching methods, you will then have to tweak your current methods to include the new ones.

The science teacher role includes networking and building professional relationships with other educational experts who your students engage with on a weekly basis such as learning mentors, psychologists and pastoral care staff as well as speaking and having meetings with parents and guardians of your students.

What will be your responsibilities as a science teacher?

As a secondary school science teacher, you’ll put together lessons and deliver them to a range of students with different ages and abilities. Once you have taught the lesson, you will be marking the work and providing constructive feedback. After looking through their work, over time you will need to recorded pupils progress and development.

It’s fundamental to keep your maths knowledge fresh by searching innovative topic areas and producing new materials that meet the curriculum guidelines, so that students are receiving the right knowledge and being taught it in the correct way.

Selecting a variety of learning resources is very important including podcasts, videos and interactive whiteboards. This is because not every student will be engaged or even learn something the same way. Different topics take more concentration so may need a more interactive of learning.

Pupils will inevitably have to do exams. It’s your job to prepare them for mock tests and external examinations in order for them to achieve their target grades.

They’ll be different abilities and personalities within a class of students. Some will take to science like a duck in water, whilst others will struggles and take some time to get to grips with certain topics. However due to this, you must be able to manage your time to focus on those who are struggling but still pushing those who understand it. Whilst doing this, you must be able to manage classroom behaviour and take the appropriate actions.

When it’s time for the annual parents evening, you’ll need to talk to parents and guardians on how their child is performing academically. You will need to explain their strengths as well as their areas for improvement.

As a teacher, there are always department meetings and training events to attend as well as extra curriculum activities such as sports days or outings. You will need to attend those and help to plan these events.

How much could you earn as a science teacher?

As a newly qualified science teacher your salary will start on the main pay range. This will rise gradually from £22,467 to £33,160 (£28,098 to £33,160 for inner London.

Teacher salaries on the main scale in Northern Ireland are slightly lower, ranging from £22,243 to £32,509. The salaries range from £22,194 to £35,409 in Scotland.

The overall amount that science teachers are paid is due to their responsibilities. If they take on a responsibility such as form tutor, this has an impact on their wage.  Your wage also can vary from school to school and especially where that specific school is based. Typically, Flourish Education as education recruiters pays secondary school science teacher up to £200 per day.

If you work in a free school or academy, they can choose their own pay as well as working conditions. Due to this, they may be extremely similar to what local authority schools offer or could vary substantially.

What are science teachers working hours?

Secondary school science teachers work from the autumn term in September straight through to the summer term in the end of July. This is a 39 week with a 13 week holiday. The academic calendar year is used for teaching but teachers often make use of their holiday and half terms for marking work and lesson planning.

The working hours include from 8:30 in the morning to approximately 3:30 – 4 in the afternoon. However this differs between different schools and the responsibilities you have. You’ll likely be in preparing before the school day start and stay just after the school day finishes. At this time, you will also be available to pupils to visit your classroom if they need to speak to you about anything and if they have any homework related questions. Making books and planning future lessons is not necessarily done in this time, as it is typically done at home.

Science teachers often teach for 5 periods a day. They rarely have a free period due to science being a core subject; it has to be taught to all pupils within the school. Lunchtimes may be taken up (on a rota basis) with extracurricular activities. 

Education supply agencies such as Flourish Education is also an option and a flexible choice for some science teachers as they offer part time work, long term contracts and sabbatical prospects.

What qualifications are needed?

Routes into a career in teaching maths

School Direct

You could apply directly to a school, which means they can choose where they want to train. Trainees will learn on the job and will be a member of the teaching team from day one.

Length: one year

Entry: Undergraduate degree

Funding: salaried and non-salaried

PGCE

Complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education - 24 weeks are spent on placement – normally at a wide variety of schools – while 12 weeks are spent at university.

Length: one year

Entry: Undergraduate degree

Funding: PGCE students will pay fees of up to £9,000. 

Undergraduate degree

Most undergraduate degrees in teaching are in primary education. Trainees spend just under 50% of their time out on placements in schools. If you already have a degree, you’ll need to complete a postgraduate teacher training course. This will lead to qualified teacher status (QTS) in England.

Length: 3 or 4 years

Entry: Min of 2 A-levels

Funding: PGCE students will pay fees of up to £9,000.

SCITT

School-centred initial teacher training: The training course is practical, hands-on and delivered by current teachers based at their school. Most will also offer a PGCE.

Length: 3 or 4 years

Entry: Undergraduate degree

Funding: PGCE students will pay fees of up to £9,000.

Teach First

Recruits high-achieving graduates to teach in challenging schools where more than 50% of pupils are from low-income backgrounds. 6 weeks of intensive training before spending 2 years at a school and completing a PGCE.

Length: 2 years

Entry: Min 2:1 degree

Funding: Paid salary

However as a teacher you will need to pass all the checks made by the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure you are safe to work in this specific environment.

Science Teacher Skills

As a science teacher you should demonstrate your passion for science and how our everyday life is based around it. Teaching a subject that you enjoy and helping your pupils find enjoyment in it too, can be enormously satisfying – secondary school teachers can have a big effect on a pupil’s life.

You’ll need to have the ability to explain scientific theories with clarity and to pupil’s who have a mixture of experiences and abilities – being able to break down a topic in an understandable way is vital.

Good listening and communication skills are obviously a must. This is because you will need to be able to communicate with adults such as other teachers and parents and guardians as well as pupils. Another must is being organised. As a role model, you will inspire students to be organised and enthusiastic about their studies. Showcasing creativity in the classroom and bringing a sense of humour are also brownie points.

Who are your employers?

The majority of secondary school science teachers work in local education authority schools. Most of these schools follow the national curriculum so your employers will be the same.

Academy schools are by a governing body. They’re independent from a local council and they have the power to follow a different curriculum and can and can set their own term times.

If you work in a grammar school, they’ll select a large majority of their pupils on academic ability so pupils usually have to pass an exam to enrol. 

Instead of being funded by the government, private schools or ‘independent schools’ will charge fees to attend. Pupils at these schools don’t have to follow the national curriculum but they must be registered with the government and they’re inspected on a regular basis.

Some secondary maths teachers decide to register with an agency like Flourish Education and try supply work. Supply teaching work offers flexibility, which suits some people. Although it is less stable than a permanent contract supply teaching can lead to long-term and permanent work within a school.

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